All research that involves human participants or non-human animals must be granted ethical approval before being conducted (including Undergraduate and Masters projects). The School of Psychology and Neuroscience Ethics Committee (SEC) overviews the ethics and integrity of all teaching and research within the School, as a sub-committee of the University Teaching and Research Ethics Committee (UTREC) and Animal Welfare Ethics Committee (AWEC).
Ethical approval for human or non-human animals must be obtained in advance and the committee strongly advise that applications are submitted at least four weeks prior to the start of data collection taking place. Ethical approval will be granted, on behalf of UTREC or AWEC, by the SEC. However, in some instances, for example, when human research involves high levels of deception or when animals are being studied in a non EU country, the School may refer an application to UTREC or AWEC for approval.
School Ethics Committee (SEC)
The Psychology and Neuroscience Ethics Committee meets fortnightly during term time (less frequently at other times) and is only one of the few Schools that is permitted to review projects involving children and non-licensed animal ethical applications.
Completed ethical applications forms from staff and students should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications should be accompanied by all supporting documentation (templates provided on the UTREC site) and in the case of student applications counter signed by their supervisor. If, during the course of data collection, an amendment to your application is required, the appropriate forms can be found on the UTREC and AWEC websites.
The School has prepared a set-by-step guide to human participant research and it is strongly recommended that this document is read in conjunction with the information on the UTREC website as it gives detailed information on how to prepare for and carry out your study.
The School uses a specialist software package (SONA) to facilitate the recruitment of human participants to studies. Studies posted to the SONA website can be viewed by St Andrews students and members of the St Andrews community who have registered for a participant account. The preferred platform for online studies is Qualtrics as it satisfies General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Guidance for the treatment of animals in behavioural research and teaching provides further reading on animal research.